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Another storm is on the way as Granite State digs out from first

New Hampshire Union Leader

December 11. 2017 12:29AM
Derek Sacco scrapes snow off his SUV at the Manchester impound lot at Derryfield Park on Sunday morning. Police said dozens of vehicles were towed over the weekend. (MARK HAYWARD/UNION LEADER)

MANCHESTER — Dozens were stunned to wake up Sunday and realize their vehicle was not where they had parked it the previous night and they faced a $110 tow bill.

Historically, Manchester has the highest rates of snow-related towing in the Granite State. Manchester — as well as other communities that allow overnight parking in the winter — call snow emergencies when faced with significant snowfall. The parking ban facilitates overnight plowing.

The first of the season was Saturday night, with up to 7 inches falling across the state.

Another parking ban could be called in Manchester and other municipalities as early as tonight. Forecasters have predicted 1-3 inches of wintry mix changing to rain for the southeastern part of the state on Tuesday, with 3 to 7 inches north and west of Manchester.

Manchester fire personnel responded to numerous accidents on city roads and local highways Saturday. One accident on Interstate 93 south involved three vehicles and one coach bus, with 12 on the bus having to be extricated using the Jaws of Life tool because an exit door was damaged. No one was seriously hurt, officials said

Manchester District Fire Chief Michael Gamache said there were accidents involving seven vehicles on the I-293 north ramp from I-93 south, with minor injuries.

While fire crews were responding to these accidents, a city fire truck was hit by two separate vehicles over a short period of time. No firefighters were injured, Gamache said.

On Sunday morning, things were humming at the Manchester impound lot, located at the Derryfield Park parking lot off Bridge Street.

Jessalyn Vargas counted out the $110 needed to retrieve her car, which she had parked on Grove Street. All the tip money she earned the previous night as a waitress at Ignite Bar and Grille went to get her car back, she said.

“Come on, it should be like $40. Where’s the money going, the city?” she said.

Vargas, who is 21, grew up in Manchester but always parked in a driveway, she said. She had visited a friend Saturday night, and parked on the street.

Two years ago, University of New Hampshire-Manchester graduate student Michael Pelletier found that Manchester tows far more cars on snowy nights per-capita than any other city in the Granite State. Pelletier calculated that 102 cars have to be towed in order for the city to break even.

Derek Sacco picked up his SUV on Sunday morning.

He said he recently moved to an apartment on Wayne Street from Derry.

“I didn’t know. We had no idea,” said Sacco.

He spoke as dozens of cars sat in the lot, their roofs, windshield and hoods buried in snow.

“This is mayhem,” he said.; New Hampshire Union Leader Staff Writer Paul Feely contributed to this report.

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